Nikola Announces “The End of Diesel Engines”

On December 1, Utah start-up Nikola Motor Company unveiled a fully operational truck they say spells the end of diesel-powered trucking – the Nikola One – a zero-emissions Class 8 semi-truck with sleeper cab that will carry a full load for a very long distance.

“Say goodbye to the days of dirty diesel…” 

                                                             Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola Motor Company

This is truly a zero emissions truck, with solar-generated hydrogen used in a fuel cell under the hood to charge batteries that power electric motors on each wheel.  The only emissions are water vapor. The truck will generate over 1000 horsepower (twice that of most production trucks), and have a range of 1200 miles and a huge amount of torque.  The specifications for the truck are nothing short of amazing – check them out here.

To provide the national infrastructure needed, Nikola plans to build a network of almost 400 solar-powered hydrogen generating and refueling stations, and to lease the trucks through the Ryder System, which will also provide maintenance and other services.  The cost – just $5-7,000 per month to lease a truck, with free fuel for the first million miles.


The truck promises many other advantages – including faster acceleration and a shorter stopping distance than diesel-powered rigs, and an in-cockpit computer system that will allow owner-operators to book freight while on the road. Nikola is also offering a ‘day cab’ version of the truck called the Nikola Two. View the video above for more on that topic and others.

As an added bonus, the refueling stations will sell hydrogen to any customers, which could lend impetus to the development and sale of Zero Emissions cars based on the same hydrogen-electric technology.

Will this really happen? Things look promising.  The company claims to have pre-orders for over $3 billion in trucks.  It plans to announce the location of their $1 billion manufacturing plant in 2017, and to begin construction of the refueling stations in January 2018.

For more information, check out the articles below, and the Nikola Motor Company website.

Hydrogen Could Help Heavy Trucks Clean Up Their Act, NBC News

Nikola Motor Company Unveiling — Details On “Zero Emissions” Semi Truck, CleanTechnica

A Tesla-Inspired Truck Might Actually Make Hydrogen Power Happen, Wired Magazine

Nikola Motors Introduces Hydrogen-Electric Semi Truck, Fortune Magazine

New electric Class 8 truck: 1,000 hp, 1,200-mile range, Overdrive